Prairie Winds of Urbana 1905 E Prairie Winds Dr Urbana  IL 61802 217-344-6400


Prairie Winds of Urbana is an affordable assisted-living community. Certified to operate through the State of Illinois’ Supportive Living program, Prairie Winds serves adults 65 and older who need some help maintaining their independence. Prairie Winds provides an alternative to a nursing home or struggling alone at home, especially benefitting seniors who cannot afford a private assisted-living facility. Prairie Winds is operated by Blair Minton & Associates Management (BMA), a management company that operates assisted-living facilities throughout Illinois and the Midwest.


Prairie Winds of Urbana is operated by Blair Minton & Associates (BMA Management Ltd.), which is a senior assisted-living facility management company based in Bradley, Illinois, and one of the top 25 largest senior assisted living facility management companies in the United States. Established in 1999, BMA strives to provide welcoming communities for seniors, regardless of one’s financial situation.

Construction on the Prairie Winds of Urbana facility began in 2006, and it officially opened on April 25, 2007, and all 92 units are currently occupied. In 2008, Life Services Network—a statewide association representing the leading providers of older adult services—recognized Prairie Winds of Urbana with the Seal of Confidence for commitment to resident satisfaction (“Business & Professional Briefs”).

In terms of technology, most of the changes that have taken place have been in how the day-to-day office operations have been handled. Because the facility has been open for less than five years, fairly new technology has been in place since the beginning of operations. However, the office has seen a shift in documentation with the move from hard copies to online documentation. When exchanging information with the corporate office (BMA), documents are either submitted through online forms or scanned in and e-mailed. About 95% of invoices are now done online, and are routed through a processing center in North Carolina. Writing physical checks has declined from 2030 a month to 2 or 3. When Prairie Winds first opened, almost all documentation was in physical form, which then had to be photocopied and mailed to the corporate office and then filed at Prairie Winds. Now, most of the day-to-day operations documents are filed online.

However, when dealing with transactions with the State of Illinois, Prairie Winds must still fax documents to Springfield. The state requires that forms with sensitive information be submitted this way to avoid a potential security breach online. Prairie Winds thus still uses a mix of methods when processing paperwork, though the majority of those operations have moved online.

More recently, Prairie Winds has made several key updates to their information communication technologies (ICTs). In July 2011, a computer exclusively for staff in-services (trainings) was installed. The computer has a direct link to the corporate office, and any reports generated from the trainings are automatically submitted to BMA upon completion. Also at that time a Dakim touchscreen computer was added to the resident computer lab. The Dakim BrainFitness software is designed specifically for seniors to aid memory retention and improvement through trivia and games. The system is operated completely via touchscreen, so residents can use it without worrying about knowing how to use a mouse or keyboard.

In the fall of 2011, Prairie Winds purchased a Flip video camera. Prairie Winds staff hopes to use video in more ways in the future and plans to train various staff members on the Flip camera. These events will then be added to Prairie Winds’ website and Facebook pages so residents, along with their family and friends, can share in the memories.

In June of 2013, Prairie Winds switched their Facebook profile from personal to business, affording them a more public presence in the community.

This CU wiki entry began as a UIUC research project.  For more on that see Study of UC2B Anchor Institutions' Technology Use